E-ink Debuts New, Yellow ePaper Shelf Label at SID Display Week 2015

SID is holding its annual trade show and conference this week, and E-ink is there to show off yet another product to make ereader owners envious. The world’s largest epaper manufacturer launched a new 3-color epaper shelf label today called Spectra yellow.

SpectraYELLOW(LR)Black, white, and shades of gray are good enough for reading (most) ebooks, but retailers have been craving a better way to catch the eye of consumers. E-ink’s first step in this direction, Spectra (red), came out two years ago and enabled retailers to accent a sign with red, white, or black inks, and now the epaper maker is making a new shelf label with yellow inks.

The new Spectra yellow combines black, white, and yellow ink capsules to offer a vibrantly colorful display. When this product hits the market retailers will be able to flash one of the 3 colors and grab the attention of passing consumers.

That’s a nifty innovation but it comes at a price. Unlike the screen on your Kindle, the Spectra yellow screen can’t display shades of gray or yellow or mix the three colors; instead, it is no more and no less than a 3-color shelf label.

That limitation derives from the technical changes E-ink had to make in order to support the 3 ink colors, and until E-ink finds a way around this issue we’re not going to enjoy red or yellow epaper screens on our ereaders.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. reader2 June, 2015

    Black, white and red ink large display would be ideal for the sheet music which does not need shades of grey. Black music notation/symbols on white ePaper with red annotations/highlighting.
    I would be very happy with this limitation.

    This E Ink announcement is a joke – recycling years old technology. I’m expecting exciting announcement of blue Spectra in 2016 and green in 2017.

    Unfortunately E Ink Corporation is just hopeless to bring Spectra or Mobius technology to the market. Listening to Mr.Peruvemba or Mr.Mancini I’m not surprised.

    Look at E Ink’s – last news is from January 2014…

    1. Nate Hoffelder3 June, 2015

      Actually, E-ink’s last news was from Jan 2015 – when they revealed the Prism wall hanging. I agree, it was just a recycling of old tech.

  2. reader2 June, 2015

    How do we edit the posts here? Links are all garbled…

    1. Nate Hoffelder2 June, 2015

      Oh, I thought you did that on purpose.

      I cleaned the links up a little. better?

      1. reader2 June, 2015

        Thank you. If I could preview the post before posting the comment with html… Still missing:
        Im expecting “exciting announcement” of blue Spectra in 2016.

        1. Nate Hoffelder3 June, 2015

          I’ve hd plugins like that in the past, but I had to remove them to speed up my site. Sorry.

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